I waited a few days to continue this thread in the hope to arouse some reactions and possibly discussion about this coin. However, i had hoped to see some more reactions, for in fact this is a world-famous coin.
However, it is famous for the wrong reasons. This coin has only one problem: it was made in the 1980's in Bulgaria. This was one of the original specimen in a group which surfaced at the end of the eighties from the so-called Black-Sea hoard.
So why did i chose to put a fake at display without telling you directly ?
Over the last months there were a few threads on fakes and forgeries. And judging a picture of of coin of which you know it is fake is different to judging it if you don't know it.
I thank Peter and Ram for giving their unbiassed opinions. And I agree with them fully, this is a lovely specimen. And one has to admire the craftsmanship of the maker. Both people who gave their response have an extensive trackrecord in their experience with coins, and i would regard them as very knowledgeable. This stresses how difficult it has become to judge the genuineness of a coin, even in close-up photos, based on its general appearance, if you are not an expert in the field. In fact this coin almost is more beautifull than the originals, but it is 100 % fake.
I was curious also to find out another thing; would people be enticed by viewing this coin to do some background research ? That's one reason i chose this coin. If you do an internet search on it, one could be able to find out within 10 minutes it is a fake.
Perhaps people did do this research, and may have had doubts after this. Possibly junior members were reluctant to express their doubts in this thread. I hope to convince these people that it ís important to share your opinions and discuss them openly. For that is the only manner in which the collective of collectors will be able to beat forgeries through our combined knowledge.
OK: Am i really sure my coin is fake ? Yes i am. I bought it from a reliable dealer, it was marked as "black sea hoard". I bought it specifically because i had read the stories about these, and thought this would be just an important addition to my collection as an original. (Also it was ofcourse very much cheaper than an original in this condition. Dont forget i'm Dutch, we are worse with money than the Scottish
Here are some links to sites with some background info on the original investigation of these forgeries: Overview
The die idential specimen of my coin: is here
Some threads on other forums on these types: here
So yes, really my coin is an original fake !
So what are the things which gave this away as a fake ?
- First, and very important factor, was the greed of the forgerers: they made to many coins from a limited number of dies. The emergence of many die identical coins should always lead to suspicion.
- Secondly, The engravers were true artists. But they should not have attempted to improve on the original. A general feature of the fakes is that the helmet looks more like a face than a helmet. The nose plate should descend straight from the level of the forehead part. The forgerers sometimes seem to have tried to mould a nose shape in the face.
The eye sockets in the original look like slits. In the fakes they more resemble eyes with upper and lower eyelids. The faceplate in the originals goes straight down. In the fakes there is a contour in the cheeks which suggests the presence of cheekbones.
Lastly, the hair tassles at the side should hang from the sidecrest of the helmet. In my specimen you can see that on one side these emerge from the side of the faceplate erroneously.
Some people may comment that it is not really fair that i show a fake Greek coin on a forum in which not many people are focussed on ancient Greeks. Don't i exaggerate the problem of recognizing fakes ? I do not think so.
The well known ForumAncientCoins ís focussed on classical ancients. It has a "best of type" section in which people can show sublime examples of ancient coins. Please look here
to compare the "best of type" with mine. I hope you will see that the obverse is die identical with my coin (and that mine looks better
). It has been on display since 2012. Nobody ever made any comment doubting its authenticity
.edit: The coin referred to was removed from the Forum shortly after this report.
So how should a real one look ?
Well, there are some for sale now at the current CNG auction. Like this one here
. You now judge for yourself